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MilSciFi.com interivews Martin Roy Hill, author of Eden

Martin Roy Hill
EDEN


10-28-2014: MilSciFi.com interviews 
Martin Roy Hill, author of the military science fiction novella Eden.

MilSciFi: Welcome. Please tell us a little something about your novel.

Hill: Eden takes place in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A massive sandstorm uncovers ancient ruins located near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, an area where researchers now believe the Biblical Garden of Eden was said to be located. National Guard Captain Adam Cadman, an archaeologist in civilian life serving as an Army historian in Iraq, leads a small unit of soldiers to investigate the ruins. Just outside the ruins, they are ambushed and take refuge within its walls. There they are trapped not only by the insurgents but by another, even more massive sandstorm that prevents their rescue. An enemy mortar shell opens a passage to a buried chamber in the ruins, and the soldiers take refuge inside it only to find an ancient, hidden secret about the origins of mankind that, if revealed to the world, could end civilization as we know it.

MilSciFi: Is this part of a large series or universe?

Hill: Eden is a one-off. It's written with what's called the "lost manuscript" or "false document" technique. The narrator, Captain Cadman, is trying to unburden himself of the secret he found in the ruins by writing a monograph he hopes will be read someday in the far future.

MilSciFi: What inspired you to write this story?

Hill: I was reading a newspaper story about archaeologists who claimed to have discovered the location of the Garden of Eden using satellite imagery. The Bible says Eden was located near four intersecting rivers. The Tigris and the Euphrates have long been thought to be two of those rivers. Using satellite photos of the area, the researchers discovered the remains of two ancient dry river beds that intersect the Tigris and the Euphrates. I found this interesting because Iraq is also where the ancient Sumerians established the first true human civilization and culture. I started thinking to myself, what if some GIs stumbled on to the remains of Eden? What would they find? That was the genesis (excuse the pun) of Eden.

MilSciFi: Does science and technology play an important role in this story (or in your work in general), or is it secondary to the story telling and characterization?

Hill: Science and technology are secondary to the story and the characters. Eden is really a study of people, contemporary and ancient, and how they respond to shocking information. It also asks a lot of questions about what we think we know about the past and what our future will be.

MilSciFi: Do you have plans to expand upon, or write other works based on this novel?

Hill: At this time, I have no plans for a follow-on book. But I never had plans to do a follow-on book for my first novel, The Killing Depths.  Now I'm in the process of writing one. So, who knows what the future might bring for Eden?

MilSciFi: Most authors we encounter write novellas/novels. Do you write short stories, and if so do you find it a challenge?

Hill: Yes, I've had several short stories published in magazines and journals over the years. My first book, Duty, was a collection of previous published and new short stories wrapped around a military theme. My alternative history short story, "Hitler Is Coming," was featured on the cover of the latest issue of Alt Hist, a journal of historical and alternate history fiction.

Short fiction, I find, is more difficult to write than novels. You have to pack so much into such a smaller format. Eden began as a short story, but it continued to grow and I finally decided to make it a novella.

MilSciFi: Since time is of the essence for getting a read up to speed in a short story, do you have a strategy, or preferred method for doing this?

Hill: It really depends on the story. In some stories, you can start in the middle and everything before that is told in the back story. But some stories just can't be told in any other way but linearly, from the beginning to the end.

MilSciFi: What advice would you give the aspiring military science fiction writer?

Hill: The same advice I give to any writer. Write, rewrite, and rewrite again. The art is not found in the writing, but in the rewriting.

MilSciFi: Who is your single-most influential author in science fiction, and what impact did that have on your own work?

Hill: I'm kind of old school. I grew up reading H.G. Wells and I still enjoy his work. He used science fiction as a form of social commentary, and I believe that's an important part of science fiction. Robert Heinlein did the same.

Because I'm something of a historian, I like science fiction that draws on distant mysteries that come back to haunt the present. For that reason, I'm a great fan of James Rollins and his Sigma Force novels. I enjoy Lincoln Child's work, too, for the same reason. On the other hand, I am also a great fan of Whitley Strieberís UFO thrillers, too.

MilSciFi: What is the one thing you find the most difficult about writing military science fiction, or SF in general?

Hill: Trying to be original. There's so much sci-fi out in books, movies, and TV, it's hard to come up with something different. You really have to search for that special thing to hook the reader.

MilSciFi: Is military science fiction the only thing you write, or is there something else out there we should be looking for?

Hill: I think my work pretty much spans the spectrum of action genres. My short story collection, Duty, was comprised of mystery and suspense stories, but also contained one that crossed over into paranormal and another that was more Hemingway-ish -- you know, more literary. My first novel, The Killing Depths, was a military mystery thriller, while my second novel, Empty Places, was a noir mystery thriller.

MilSciFi: Do you have any other projects in the works?

Hill: I have three projects in the works. I am currently writing a milscifi short story based on cutting-edge technology I came across in my day job as a military analyst. And just to stay with the technological aspect of the story, I'm writing the whole thing on my iPhone. I'm also working on the first draft of a sequel to The Killing Depths. And I am also in plotting and research stages of a novel that will be a military thriller blended with some sci-fi.

MilSciFi: Do you have any upcoming author events?

Hill: Right now, I am focusing everything on Eden, which launches on November 15 but is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

MilSciFi: Thank you for your time.

Hill: Thank you for this opportunity!
 


Martin Roy Hill's website is:
www.martinroyhill.com

Facebook:
 
http://www.facebook.com/Martin.Roy.Hill


 

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do not necessarily represent the views of MilSciFi.com.